As easy as eager, to please
…and the list goes on and on and on
Our dogs; our friends; our playmates; our soulmates; our living examples of all God got right.
There have been dogs in my life as far back as I can remember. Dogs like Amos Manley Calhoon, (Manley for short) our 3 1/2 foot long, 1 1/2 foot high Basset Hound who had to have his ears pinned with a clothe’s pin lest he eat them with dinner or drown in his water bowl. And during times of winter snow, we’d only know where he was by the sound of his bowel-deep rooolf, rooolf. Or as the tip of his tail rose above the snow as he ran (waddled).
Then there was Bileau’s Cadeau Migneaux, (Min for short) our Miniature Poodle, who I’d swear could not have been more in love with another four-legged creature than she was with a two-legged one; my father, whom she’d marked as her own when just a puppy, by peeing on his chest while he lay on the couch watching TV. And as witnessed by anyone within view, when he’d pick her up at the end of the day so she could lay her head on his shoulder, roll her eyes lovingly up at him, and slowly and deliberately, slide her tongue up his cheek in long, slow kisses. These are two of many, but two especially loved for what they brought into our family and into our lives.
But this is for Ripken…our Black Labrador mix, who has been with us since his eighth week of life, more than 10 years ago, and who will see the end of his days on earth Wednesday. It’s never easy to witness the suffering of those we love, nor is it made easier by the fact that they have four legs instead of two. And the decision to end the suffering is always tempered with the notion that perhaps it is our own suffering we are hoping to ease by intervening and changing their natural path to the end. It isn’t, after all, for us to say “Now is your time”…yet we do. For them…and…for us.
So, to Ripken, I say thank you. For the years of unconditional love, the multitude of spontaneous moments of joy and laughter, and for feet that were warmed by you as you lay upon them in winter.
But mostly, for the lessons in loyalty, tolerance, and forgiveness, as only one with no guile could teach. For giving so freely, without question or condition, so much more than you ever asked for.
You are and always will be, greatly loved.
Goodbye dearest friend.
Rest In Peace